Teachers, ‘digital natives’ need you!

By Anne Collier

“To all those teachers worried about being made obsolete by digital natives, rest easy. You have a LOT to teach them,” blogs computing education professor Mark Guzdial at Georgia Institute of Technology. Hear, hear! He’s picking up on New York Times coverage of a new study out of Northwestern University finding that “digital natives” are so not digital media literate. Not too surprisingly to many parents and teachers, the study found that the so-called natives “favor search engine rankings [or maybe the expediency they represent, too, a little bit] above all other factors. The only thing that matters is that something is the top search result, not that it’s legit.” But I think Professor Guzdial nails it, when he explains why “digital nativeness” does nothing for new media literacy: “Some teachers have asked me if teaching these students computer science at an introductory level even makes sense, given their acumen with the technology. The reality is that use is not the same as understanding, and ability to consume media is not the same as the ability to produce media [emphases his].” See also what he writes about how you get students from being videogame players to videogame makers, linking to the Glitch Game Project at Georgia Tech. [See also “The new media monsters we’ve created for our kids.”]

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